Here's a few of our favorite ways to save money creatively
everyday without too much self-deprivation
Keep clean appliances. So that it works more efficiently and doesn't cost so much to run, use a vacuum hose and nozzle to clean the coils inside the front grill of your refrigerator. Also regularly clean the lint collector in your dryer as well.
Send away for and follow up on rebates. After you buy a product with a rebate, send in the form that day. Then mark your calendar to remind yourself to follow up with the rebate company if the check hasn't show up.
Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFLs) bulbs. These bulbs use 75% less energy and last 10 times longer. They do take some getting used to and they won't work in every light fixture. But use them where it makes sense and save energy and money. It's worth it.
Use plastic grocery store bags to line trash cans. This may not work if you use a massive trash can, but for a small sized one grocery bags are a perfect fit. This not only helps save some money on something you're going to throw away anyway, but you're recycling by reusing the bags.
Get your books from the library. Reading every day is fantastic and while buying some of the books you want is cool, if you get a library card you can check out all kinds of books without being charged. Simply put, it's hard to beat free.
Get DVDs from the library too. Many libraries now have movies on DVD that can be checked out. If your library offers this service, it sure beats paying Blockbuster or Netflix.
Cut back on the soft drinks. If you enjoy a meal out now and then, think twice before ordering a drink. One soft drink can run anywhere from $1.79 - $4.00 depending on what you’re getting. Add two people to the bill and your drinks alone can become $4 - $8 bucks! Save your wallet and your health by drinking water instead. If you want some flavor, ask for a lemon or lime to squeeze into it. -Tip submitted from one of our readers!
Bottle your own drinking water. Drinking water is definitely good for your health. If you occasionally buy bottled water, reuse your bottles, especially if they're glass. If you are not happy with your tap water, look into getting a Reverse Osmosis or Brita Filter, in the long run it can save a lot of money.
Patience pays off. If you're willing to shop off-season or wait until an item lingers in the store for a month or more, retailers generally start running sales and dropping their prices. Thursday evenings are also a good time to shop. Timing is everything when you're looking to get the best prices.
Check out your local resale shops and Goodwill stores. There are lots of great items usually available - name brand stuff in good condition and at low prices. You can normally find clothes, games, household items and lots of books. Occasionally items are even offered for free. You may be amazed at the selection and your savings! -Tip submitted from one of our readers!
Combine your cable, internet and telephone service. Companies now offer combined services that not only cost less, but offer the convenience of a single bill. If you only need a line for internet use, look into a "data dry loop connection". By law the company has to give this cheaper option to you.
Take your lunch to work one more day a week than you do now. Eating out at lunch is fun, so maybe don't eliminate it completely. But taking lunch just one more day a week will keep a little extra money in your pocket.
Use up leftovers. Be sure to eat up leftovers to avoid unnecessary waste and throwing away money. Extra veggies go great in a simple soup to make a hearty, healthy meal that costs very little. -Tip submitted from one of our readers!
Cancel the health club membership. Evaluate how much you really use your health club. Less expensive options may include a gym at your work or a gym at your local parks and recreation center. Some offer pay as you go options rather than monthly fees, which can be great for those of us who aren't as consistent in our routines as we'd like to be.
Get organized and avoid missed payments. We've probably all missed a payment or two because the bill got buried beneath a stack of papers. Get organized and avoid those late payment penalties. If you do miss a payment, call your creditor and ask to have the penalty removed. They'll usually accommodate the request, at least the first time.
Keep tires properly inflated. It keeps you safe and costs less on gas. It also helps the tires wear more evenly.
Make fabric softener last longer naturally. Fabric softeners can be very expensive. Cut back on some of the cost by mixing equal portions of softener with white vinegar. Or if you want to go completely natural, just add about 1/2 a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle. Clothes will be fresh and soft. -Tip submitted from one of our readers!
Subscribe to magazines that are must reads. If you must have a certain magazine each month, subscribe. Subscriptions offer substantial savings over the cost at the newsstand. Watch for free offers to get an entire year's subscription free. This of course will save you even more!
Never pay checking account fees. We all hate bank fees. With so many free checking account plans available, there's no reason to pay a fee. And if the bank happens to charge you one, ask them to reverse the fee or take your business to another bank.
Adjust your thermostat. In the Summer, resist the urge to over-cool your house and dress warm if it's cold out and keep the house cooler in the Wintertime. The rule of thumb is that you can save about 3% on your heating bill for every degree that you lower your thermostat full time.
Lower the water heater temp. Turn down the temperature on your water heater by 1 or 2 degrees.
You won’t notice the difference, but your finances will!
Stop shifting temperatures. Examine the caulking around your doors and windows to ensure that cold Winter and hot Summer weather won't penetrate your home. Also thermal curtains have a backing that blocks heat from escaping through drafty windows or helps keep the heat outside in the hot Summer. Block drafts that seep in under doorways with door sweepers or by placing rolled-up towels against the foot of closed doors. -Tip submitted from one of our readers!
Make a list before going shopping. They call it impulse buying for a reason. Without a list you're more likely to buy items that you simply do not need. Worse yet is when you forget to purchase the actual items you came to the store for in the first place. Getting all that you need in one trip can help avoid another unnecessary trip and temptation.
Don't shop on an empty stomach. Try eating a complete meal before doing any grocery shopping. It's so much easier to avoid tossing multiple snack items into the cart if you are already full. You'll notice yourself saving more money and walking out of the store with less impulse buys. -Tip submitted from one of our readers!
Buy generic products instead of name brand. Some foods you can really taste a difference, but for those that it's hard to notice on, try to buy generic/store brand products instead of the name brand ones. Find what works for you taste wise and switch to generic brands for at least a part of your grocery list.
Shop left to right. Sounds crazy we know, but stores know a lot about how you shop and what's likely to make you pick up a product. For example, stores have discovered that shoppers are more comfortable staying to the right as they move through a store. These shoppers moving counterclockwise even spend $2 more per trip than those who go the opposite direction.
Make your sock drawer an ATM. Instead of paying ATM fees every time you need a little cash, set aside some spending money in a drawer or somewhere safe. Whenever you need cash, take what you need out to use for that day. You'll be less likely to spend a dollar here and there and you'll avoid costly ATM fees that add up fast.